Saturday, January 3, 2015

Weekly Shave Review: The Rapira Blade

This is the fifteenth of my weekly shave summaries. This week, I'm using a Russian-made Rapira Platinum Lux blade. This blade is coated with platinum.

They come single wrapped and in cardboard boxes of five individually-wrapped blades.

My primary shave soap again this week is the first pre-production run of Grandad's Slick 'n Creamy Shave Soap for Sensitive Skin (formerly called SS#11P1).

Now called Grandad's Shave Soap
-- slick 'n creamy, for sensitive skin.
[Reminder about my skin type: I have very sensitive, thin skin, somewhat loose (on the neck when shaving horizontally), with lots of angles and dips -- paired with a moderately tough beard. It's challenging to get a close, comfortable shave. Shaving gear must be chosen with care.]

Unless otherwise specified, all shaves this week were with my minimalist beard preparation.

What I Learned this Week:
.The Rapira Platinum Lux blade is a good blade. It is very sharp, durable, and coated for smoothness. This Rapira is within the performance envelope that I require and prefer, though my sense is that it's just a touch more sharp than I need (or something -- it's difficult to pin down exactly what is not quite right for my face; perhaps I need the plainum coating along with something additional). At the right price, however, I would be okay to regularly use this blade if I had no other choices, though it tends to create more weepers than others. The Merkur 33C Classic razor remains my go-to instrument, offering a comfortable shave that is close enough to satisfy.

Merkur 33C Classic
Simple shave today with the 33 Classic razor, and three passes: with grain, against grain, and across grain. Not any fussing and still got a reasonably close, very comfortable shave. The shave finished with a water rinse, followed by a Noxzema wash, and finally some Gillette after-shave lotion supplemented with vitamin-E oil.

With the Rapira blade again in the 33, I did a two-pass shave (with grain, then against grain) with some fussy touch up during the Noxzema wash. A few pin-point weepers. Close, comfortable shave with no styptic, alum, or after-shave balm.

The Lord L.6 razor head on the Maggard
MR3B handle for Tuesday's shave.
Using the Lord L.6 razor head on a heavy, fat handle, I took a two-pass shave this morning on the third-use Rapira blade. I got a little careless and cut myself under my chin. Also had four weepers. I guess the Rapira blade is a little sharp for the L.6 razor head if I'm not going to be careful. A fairly close shave with little irritation, but the weepers and the cut were especially annoying this moring. The cut needed styptic. I rubbed a little alum on the weepers. Then after cleaning up my razor for storage, I took a Noxzema wash.

The Chinese trash-or-treasure razor,
branded Ri,Mei.
Using my original Ri,Mei razor, the trash-or-treasure razor that has been adjusted to a mild blade angle and a slightly-negative blade exposure, I took a two-pass shave (with grain, against grain) and minor touch ups to get a very comfortable, close-enough shave. The fourth-use blade remains smooth and sharp -- shaving fairly well despite the extremely mild razor. The shave looks good but is not near baby smooth. Completely adequate, though. Cool-water rinse was followed by a Noxzema wash, and then some Neutrogena after-shave balm supplemented by vitamin-E oil to moisturize, protect, and smell good.

With the Rapira back in the 33, I took a 2-1/2-pass shave with a twist: full pass with grain, half-pass (along jaw line, under jaw and upper neck) cross grain, and a final full pass against grain. Very close shave, with two small weepers that disappeared after the water rinse and Noxzema wash. No balms or lotions today. Really good shave.

Another "standard" shave today: using the Merkur 33 razor, minimalist beard prep, my Grandad shave soap, my Omega Syntex brush, and the sixth shave with the Rapira blade. With a 2-1/2-pass shave like yesterday, but more aggressive and cavalier technique left some significant weepers that needed a touch of styptic. These weepers marred an otherwise good shave, which was finished with water rinse, styptic pencil, Noxzema wash, and some after-shave balm supplemented with vitamin-E oil.

Ending, as usual, with the 33 razor, I did a full two-pass shave (with grain, against grain) plus some fussing. A water rinse eliminated for the most part the couple of weepers, and a Noxzema wash finished the shave, which was close and irritation free.

For next week I'm returning to the Israeli Personna red-label blade.

Happy shaving!


  1. I like Astra Blades. Very comfortable shaves. Great on the neck when angled across the grain. I will try my Rapira sample.

  2. Hey, Seabrook! Nice to hear from someone in the great state of Mississippi. In what razor(s) do you use your Astras?